The city of Suzhou in China's Jiangsu Province won the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, which honors outstanding contributions towards creating livable and sustainable urban communities around the world. The prize is named after Singapore's first prime minister, credited with helping transform his city a high-quality living environment at the same time it was facing rapid economic growth.
According to the jury citation on this year's top prize, Suzhou has also undergone a remarkable transformation. "The significance of its transformation," the citation states, "lies in the city’s success in meeting the multiple challenges of achieving economic growth in order to create jobs and a better standard of living for its people; balancing rapid urban growth with the need to protect its cultural and built heritage; and coping with a large influx of migrant workers while maintaining social stability."
There were two cities that received special mention:
- Medellin, Colombia's second largest city, was recognized for its outstanding urban transformation over the past 20 years, notably its significant 86.2% reduction of homicide rates from 1991 to 2012.
- Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, was cited for overcoming its urban challenges faced over the last 40 years through excellent partnership with its citizens and stakeholders.
If you were tasked with choosing the world's most livable and sustainable urban communities, which three would top your list? Use the Comment form below to weigh in.
Get Smart Cities Now, our weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques. It's just one of the benefits you receive by joining the Smart Cities Council (and your membership is free).